Shafie says Warisan likely to contest Kimanis seat vacated by court ruling

Julia Chan
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (centre) addresses a news conference in Parliament November 28, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 3 — Parti Warisan Sabah will likely provide the ruling coaliton’s candidate for the Kimanis by-election, said Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.

The Warisan president said he will call a meeting with the leaders of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) component parties as well as Upko upon his return from Japan to discuss the matter.

“On the candidate to be chosen, he said that they have yet to come up with a shortlist of names, because he wants to listen to reports from various sources first,” said a statement from his office.

“However, he gave the impression that it is very likely that Warisan will be contesting the seat given that they had the seat in the last elections.

“We had our candidate there but something unfortunate happened. Luckily, the courts have made the right decision in this case, but we still need to appeal to the voters in Kimanis.”

Shafie said he was confident of gaining the support of Kimanis voters but said effort was still needed to convince them.

Yesterday, the Federal Court upheld a decision made by the Election Court that there was non-compliance in the filling of several hundred votes in the Kimanis parliamentary election and rendered the results null and void.

During the general election, former foreign minister and Umno Kimanis division chief Datuk Anifah Aman held on to the seat, which he first won in 1999, by a margin of 156 votes, or a total of 11,942 votes, over Parti Warisan Sabah’s Datuk Karim Bujang.

Karim filed an election petition claiming several forms of misconduct and the judge agreed on one — that there was misconduct on the part of the EC in handling Forms 13 and 14 that affected some 341 ballots.

The decision effectively paves the way for a by-election on a date to be announced by the Election Commission.

Kimanis is a parliament constituency in Sabah’s west coast consisting of two state constituencies: Bongawan and Membakut. Voters consist of mostly Sabah Muslim natives.

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